“Slow-simmered pasta sauces offer another potential means of supporting growth in the Italian sector, as 28% of users state they would pay more for these, despite them being largely absent in the UK market. This slow-cooking method for pasta sauce has connotations of authentic cooking, and is well-placed to appeal to time-starved consumers who lack the time to prepare a pasta sauce in such an authentic way.”
– Alex Beckett, Senior Food Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can innovation restore growth in the Italian sauces sector?
- How can manufacturers respond to consumer interest in low/no-salt recipes in cooking sauces?
- How can operators drive enthusiasm for ethnic cooking sauces?
- What NPD opportunities are there in the stocks market?
Between 2012 and 2013, the cooking sauces market recorded a 2.1% decline in value sales, mainly as a result of the 2.9% fall in the core ambient wet sauces sector, and – within that – the struggling Italian and traditional sectors.
Although the role of cooking/pasta sauces as a grocery staple will continue to support demand, concerns about their healthiness and the impact of scratch cooking look set to dampen it.
However, this report identifies a number of NPD opportunities which could potentially revive growth in cooking sauces, such as targeting NPD to respond to the sizeable interest in both recipes with no/low-added salt and also sauces containing one of the 5-a-day portions, a feature the large minority of users would pay more for.
This report examines the UK retail market for cooking sauces, stocks and gravy makers.
Cooking sauces are defined as sauces used during the preparation of food and as those used in the kitchen, rather than at the table. They fall into three categories:
- Cook-in sauces (including cooking pastes) are added to ingredients at an early stage of cooking, such as chilli con carne or Bolognese. Stir-fry sauces and stir-fry pastes are a style of cook-in sauce primarily intended for use with a wok or quick frying style of cooking.
- Pour-over sauces are added to the meal just before the end of cooking, or poured over the top just before serving, such as parsley sauce, some pasta sauces and pesto sauce.
- Oven-bake sauces are added to the other ingredients part way through cooking, before the dish is placed in the oven.
The cooking and pasta sauce market may also be divided into wet sauces and dry sauces:
- Wet sauces are packaged in jars, cans, pouches or cartons and may be ambient or chilled.
- Dry sauces come in packets or cartons and require the addition of water or other liquid to rehydrate them before use.
Stocks and bouillons include stock cubes, pastes and ready-to-use ambient and fresh chilled (eg Knorr Stock Pots).
- Table sauces such as tomato ketchup, apple sauce and cranberry sauce (for the purposes of this report, soy sauce is treated as a table sauce and is excluded from the report)
- Salad dressings such as salad cream and mayonnaise
- Dips, including salsa dip
- Sauce bases such as passata and concentrates such as tomato purée
- Sales of cooking sauces, pasta sauces, stocks and gravy through foodservice outlets.
Note: The definition of cooking sauces differs from that used on Mintel GMN in that soy sauce and marinades are excluded from cooking sauces and dry sauces are included under cooking sauces in this report.